Wai Khru Ceremony – the meanings and origin

Wai Khru Ceremony – the meanings and origin

Another informative Guest Blog by Josh Peatfield of Asia Backpackers – loads more info and festivals on this link

 

The wai khru ceremony (Thai: พิธีไหว้ครู) is an ancient Thai ritual first performed by students of martial and performing arts as well as those studying astrology and is still performed at their initiation as well as before each contest or performance. The rite is a show of respect and homage to both their teachers and the deities who patronize each of their arts. (Astrology still has an important role in Thai life with annual events such as The Royal Ploughing Ceremony, an ancient rite dating back over 2,500 years which heralds the start of the new rice-growing season. The event is usually in May, with the actual date determined by the king’s own Brahmin astrologers.)

wai khru ceremony  Thai welterweight Muay Thai kickboxer

wai khru ceremony Thai welterweight Muay Thai kickboxer – Buakaw Banchamek

Role on several thousand years and almost all of today’s school and further education students are expected at the start of the new academic year to take part in a wai khru ceremony. The ceremony is normally held on a Thursday which is traditionally the day of the Hindu God Brihaspati presides over, and is the day of other Hindu deities and gods of wisdom and teachers.

History

The rituals of wai khru are believed to have derived from ancient animistic beliefs, influenced by the spread of Brahmanism from India. This is evident in the wai khru ceremonies of traditional dance and music, where specific mention is made to Ishvara (a concept in Hinduism), Shivaga Komarpaj ( the central figure of Thai Buddhist medicine) and Narayana, (the Vedic Supreme God in Hinduism) along with other Vedic deitiesWai khru has for most of history existed as a folk tradition, passed on from generation to generation throughout the years.

 

Wai Kru ceremony

Wai Kru ceremony 2556 Faculty of Fine Arts Chiang Mai University

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 สมาชิกพันธุ์แท้

 

Today

The wai khru ceremony in its modern form, originated as recently as 1941 at Triam Udom Suksa School, Bangkok. Today’s ceremony usually begins with a Buddhist prayer ritual, followed by the students’ recitation of the wai khru chant, which expresses respect for and gratitude to the teachers, and asks for the teachers’ blessing of their studies. Immediately after this, a select number of students, usually the representatives of each class will present the teachers with offerings of flowers, candles and joss sticks arranged on phan (traditional Thai pedestalled trays). This is usually followed by a speech by the head teacher offering the students guidance in their academic career and when the students may be presented with awards and honors they have earned in the previous academic year

 

wai khru ceremony CMU

Faculty of Fine Arts, CMU held every year at Lan Sak .

 

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โพสท์โดย

 

 

The traditional offerings to teachers have individual meanings, namely:

  • Ixora (khem, เข็ม) flowers, which while closed form pointed buds, symbolizing sharp wit
  • Cynodon dactylon (ya phraek, หญ้าแพรก or Bermuda grass), the rapid growth and resilience of which symbolize perseverance and the ability to learn
  • Popped rice (khao tok, ข้าวตอก), which symbolizes discipline
  • Eggplant flowers, which bow low when nearing fruiting, symbolizing respect and humility.

 

 

 

Thai culture tries to foster a deep respect for educators and this at times elaborate ceremony is the perfect opportunity start the academic year. The ceremony is normally very formal but does include a blaze of colour and music and after thousands of years it is still seen as a vital part of today’s Thai educational system. Long Live the wai khru ceremony.

 

Wai Kru ceremony

Wai Kru ceremony 2556 Faculty of Fine Arts Chiang Mai University

rsz_060242-black-inlay-crystal-clear-bubble-icon-people-things-cameraสมาชิกพันธุ์แท้

 

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Muay Thai training – Life in a camp in Rayong

Life in a real Muay Thai training camp in Rayong Thailand

Mik enters Muay Thai training

Mik enters Muay Thai training

 

UPDATE FROM MIK’S DIARY                                                                                                              December 21st 2015

7 Muay Thai Gym is placed in a very quiet area, in Rayong province, 10 km from Ban Phe, close to the beach. If in chaotic Bangkok or Phuket speaking English is quite common, in a rural area like where I’m staying it’s not so easy communicate if you don’t speak a little bit of thai language. Far from massive tourism, people here around don’t  feel the need to learn foreigners languages. One more obstacle, of course, but even one more stimulus to learn another new thing, living on the skin a genuine Thailand, where old traditions are still widespread, not buried under the cement of the big cities.

Practicing Muay Thai, I’ve realized that teachers, even if they know a few english words about the training, prefer use thai words. I consider rather appropriate, and respectful too, approaching this solemn discipline with a little linguistic preparation. Why something so typical in thai culture has to lose identity in the communication process?So here below you can find a little “Muay Thai vocabulary” which will help you to understand your kru when he ask you to throw a sok!

Fight = Chok

Elbow = Sok

Knee = Khaow

Straight knee attack = Kao Dtrong

Jumping knee = Kao Loy

Front kick = Theep

Side kick = Theep Kang

Jump kick = Kao Loy

Fist= Mad

Teacher = Kru

Master teacher = Ajarn

Boxer = Nak Muay

Getting curious? Have a look HERE at some more info on Muay Thai

And don’t forget to greet, when you arrive and when you leave the gym, saying “sa wa dee krap/ka” (krap if you are male, ka if you are female), and to thank your teacher with “kop khun krap/ka“!

7muaythai.com

Mik

7 Muay Thai Camp

7 Muay Thai Camp

 

UPDATE FROM MIK’s DIARY                                                                                                               December 16th 2015

A beginner in a Muay Thai Camp
“I’ve never loved waking up early in the morning.  I used to consider waking up at 8.30 am ‘early’.  But here at 7 Muay Thai, my day starts at 6 am…and at 6.15 I’m running already with the other boxers!  More: I’ve never loved practicing sport after waking up….still sleepy, with muscles not yet active.  Well the first week was really hard, I admit it, but now after one month, I just like it.  I like to see the first morning lights as I run beside the quiet beach of Chak Pong, I like to be active the moment my alarm plays, I like sweating while in the gym with a soft breeze (unusual at this latitude) blowing, I like to enjoy some little customs after I’ve finished my training, I like to swim in the pool and finally to have my favorite breakfast.

So are a few weeks enough to get used life in a Muay Thai camp?  Not at all!  Just somethings have become easier.  A training session is not exactly ‘relaxing’: more than 2 hours of intensive exercising, a program that include exercises on bags and with teachers, and sparring with other boxers.  Here in the 7 Muay Thai there are two classes a day….but for me one is enough!  With a little bit of determination, even a beginner like me can finish somehow a session!  Anyway it’s hard  facing these difficulties and to make progress on technical  skills, always comparing oneself to other boxers.  For example, since I arrived here I’ve been trying to kick in the correct way but the teacher, in a English/Thai mix, is still explaining to me how I cannot do it better.  I find also very hard blocking kicks with my knees: instinct makes me cover my sides with elbows, just like in classic boxing. Teacher keep shaking his head, and smiling…

Muay Thai is so hard, or it’s just me?  Maybe it would be better for me if I could simply enjoy fishing and sun on one of these beautiful beaches?

“Pain you don’t feel during training, will be pain you feel in the ring”, I heard. This little motto, which trainers use to tell theirs boxers to push them during the training. This has to be considered even by a beginner who starts practicing Muay Thai and is facing his first difficulties…

Mik

Muay Thai training

Muay Thai training begins early each day

 

 

Hi everybody,                                                                                                                                  December 8th 2015

My name is Michele, although here in Thailand people call me just Mik.

I am passionate about sports but until recently I just practiced a little bit of western boxing.  I love travelling and rock music.

I’m writing here because I want to open my personal diary.  My aim is to let you taste the adventure I am (and will be)facing over the coming months.   After spending the past two years stuck in an office in front of a pc and a phone, I took an enormous life changing decision:  I left my career ambitions and a sure salary and I bought a ticket for Asia.  My new plan was to begin a deep experience within a very different culture and to discover, from point zero, a fantastic art:  Muay Thai.

Mathias Gallo Cassarino, 7 Muay Thai Gym Captain

Mathias Gallo Cassarino, 7 Muay Thai Gym Captain

Now I’m attending a gym (7 Muay Thai, Rayong) which receives champions from all around the world and thai teachers with 200,300 pro fights.  My hope is to share my thoughts and experiences with you all as I progress through this journey; for you all to see, read and even feel how a beginner like me will spend his time in a real Muay Thai camp.

I aim to tell you what means for a total beginner living in a camp with real nak muay (Thai boxers), what I experience during my days, about the difficulties I meet in my new challenge, about the people with whom I share my moments and, why not, about this beautiful sub-tropical country in general.

For sure we have some interesting and challenging times ahead.  Are you ready to dive with me into this exotic sea?

Chok dee!!

Mik

 

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